February 16, 2019

Rohingya ethnic cleansing ongoing despite Myanmar denials: Amnesty

10 February 2018, 12:25 | Randall Craig

Reuters Inn Din report highlights need for independent probe, says US

Rohingya Refugee Women

During the reporting of this article, two Reuters journalists were arrested by Myanmar police.

In additionto ongoing massacres, rapes and the wholesale destruction of villages by the Myanmar military in western Rakhine state that has forced almost 750,000 people to flee to Bangladesh, the food supply now appears to be another weapon that's being used against the dwindling numbers of Rohingya.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said earlier in January that the country's forests and natural environment had been "severely" affected due to the large influx of the Rohingyas from Myanmar, particularly in Cox's Bazar, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

"When Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were first arrested, our primary focus was on their safety".

Now, the world can see the results of their work in "Massacre in Myanmar", the story published by Reuters overnight.

If true, it would be the first confirmation by a Myanmar military source of a deliberate campaign against Rohingya civilians and their property by the country's army.

Almost 690,000 Rohingya have fled their villages and crossed the border of western Myanmar into Bangladesh since August.

The majority of the 1.1 million Rohingya who once lived in Myanmar have fled, with almost 700,000 now living in camps in Bangladesh, which neighbors Myanmar on its western border.

And last week, The Associated Press published a report on the use of mass graves to hide systematic executions of Rohingya prisoners, pulling from photographs and testimony from refugees.

A Reuters investigation into the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has prompted a demand from Washington for a credible probe into the bloodshed there and calls for the release of two journalists who were arrested while working on the report.

The report details the days leading up to the massacre as military operations destroyed communities of Rohingya in Inn Din, the fishing village where the events occurred, and draws on Buddhist and Muslim witnesses who recount the military commanders' orders to "go and clear" areas inhabited by Rohingyas.

Reuters have met with the families of the men, who say they are struggling to accept the death of their loved ones. The dead men were fishermen, shopkeepers, the two teenage students and an Islamic teacher.

The images were provided by a Buddhist village elder, Reuters said.

"That's why the military has acknowledged the existence of this mass grave - because they knew the photos were out there", reporter Michael Sullivan told NPR in December. They have yet to face trial, but Myanmar authorities say the information they gathered and which has now been made public, was "illegally acquired with the intention to share it with foreign media".

That does not match any account of the killings that Reuters heard from paramilitary forces or local villagers.

According to Reuters, the 10 men buried in the mass grave were chosen from a group of hundreds of men, women and children who were sheltering at a nearby beach.

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